Sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt—the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 92,000 individuals lost to AIDS—will be on view from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30 at the Cayuga Community College Fulton Campus, 806 W. Broadway, Fulton. This free Quilt display is being presented as part of World AIDS Day (December 1) and will be hosted by the Student Government Organization (SGO).
“The SGO wanted to host the Quilt to bring awareness to the community that even though we have come far in the fight against HIV/AIDS, this battle has not yet ended,” said Michael D. Fochtman, SGO president. “We believe that people should always remember, and that knowledge is power.”
Established in 1987, the NAMES Project Foundation—the international caretaker of the Quilt—works to preserve, care for, and use the AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, advance social justice, and inspire action. The Quilt began in San Francisco more than 20 years ago with a single 3 x 6 foot panel, and today this epic tapestry of hope and love includes more than 47,000 panels. These panels have come from every state in the nation and have been created by friends, lovers, and family members in an attempt to transform loss and heartbreak into hope and healing.
In a war against a disease that has no cure, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as our most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, the Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well being and that of their family, friends and community.
“We are eager to share The AIDS Memorial Quilt with your community for it is unlike any memorial ever created,” said Julie Rhoad, executive director of the NAMES Project Foundation. “With teddy bears and Boy Scout badges, love letters and photographs, this American treasure was created by the people for real people who were loved and lost to AIDS. We thank Cayuga Community College for its visionary efforts in hosting this event and invite you to see what wonderful healing art we have created together as a nation.”
Sections are continuously on display across the country in schools, places of worship, community centers, businesses, corporations, and a variety of other institutional settings all in the hope of making the realities of HIV and AIDS real, human and immediate. To date, more than 19 million people have seen the AIDS Memorial Quilt at tens of thousands of display throughout the world.
For more information on the upcoming display in Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus, please call Sue Witmer, SGO advisor at 315-592-4143 x. 3013. For more information on the NAMES Project and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, please visit aidsquilt.org or call the national headquarters at 404-688-5500.